Transformation of Engine Shed into enterprise hub gets underway
Press release issued: 28 May 2013
Work to transform Brunel’s terminal for the Great Western Railway into a 21st century launch pad for a new generation of businesses is underway.
Rydon Construction has been appointed in a deal between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol to refurbish Brunel’s Grade 1 Listed Engine Shed into a business and innovation centre for fast-growing technology firms.
The building will be transformed from its previous use, as the former home of the Empire and Commonwealth Museum, into a permanent base for 20 companies and will provide the resources and facilities for a further 40, including a business lounge at the centre of the building.
It will be managed by Bristol SETsquared Centre – the University’s double award-winning business incubator - who will take the majority of the space to provide premium serviced offices for its early-stage technology businesses.
Nick Sturge, Director of the Bristol SETsquared Centre which is currently based at University Gate East in Clifton, said: “This is such an exciting project, both for the University’s SETsquared Centre but also for the Bristol and Bath city region, and we are delighted that work is now underway to deliver the iconic space that we have planned for.”
The project is funded principally by Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol, together with central government funding via City Deal. A total of £1.5 million is being invested to breathe new life into the Engine Shed.
Paul Barber, South West Regional Director of Rydon Construction, said: "We welcome the challenge to work on this unique building and play our role, as a locally based contractor, in presenting Bristol as a focal point for UK business and innovation.
“Drawing on our experience on complex projects in this region, Rydon will work closely with SETsquared, the University of Bristol and the Council to ensure we manage the build considerately and respectfully so this Grade 1 Listed structure is preserved as it begins its new life.”
The building will also house the new West of England’s shared inward investment service Invest in Bristol and Bath.
Work to the Brunel building forms part of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, a 70-hectare regeneration programme centred around Temple Meads railway station, to create a new, superbly connected entry to Bristol and a hub for creative, high technology, specialist engineering and low carbon companies in the centre of Bristol. Over the next 25 years, the Enterprise Zone aims to attract more than 400 firms and create over 17,000 new jobs.